The lesser striped swallow (Cecropis abyssinica) is a large swallow. It breeds in sub-Saharan Africa from Sierra Leone and southern Sudan south into eastern South Africa. It is partially migratory with South African birds wintering further north. West African birds leave the north of the breeding range in the dry season.

This is a bird of wooded, mainly lowland habitats, and is replaced in montane grassland by the greater striped swallow, Hirundo cucullata. It is common and often found around human habitation. The lesser striped swallow builds a bowl-shaped mud nest with a tubular entrance on the underside of a suitable structure. The nest has a soft lining, and may be reused in later years. The nest may be built in a cave or under a rock overhang or a tree branch. This species has benefited from its willingness to use buildings, bridges, culverts and similar structures. Given the choice, it will select a high nest site.

The eggs are glossy white sometimes with a few brown spots; three eggs is a typical clutch. Incubation is by the female alone for 14–16 days to hatching. Both parents then feed the chicks. Fledging takes another 17–19 days, but the young birds will return to the nest to roost for a few days after the first flight.

The lesser striped swallow is 15–10 cm long. It has dark blue upperparts with a red rump and a rufous-chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts are white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The underwing coverts are tawny. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. There are five or six subspecies differing in the extent of the underpart streaking

The lesser striped swallow has heavier and darker underparts striping, a deeper red rump, and a brighter head colour than the larger greater striped swallow. The lesser also prefers less open habitats. It feeds mainly on flying insects, but has been known to eat small fruits. The flight is erratic, and the call is a nasal zeh zeh zeh zeh zeh.
Lesser Striped-Swallow
Date Location Count
2020-03-06 09:00Jardin Botanique de Bingerville1
2020-03-19 06:51Amurum Forest Reserve (APLORI)3
2020-03-11 07:00Waterberg Wilderness Lodge1
2020-03-18 06:26Gisenyi5
2020-03-12 17:06Bwindi (Town)2
2020-04-02 08:09Kibale Forest NP2
2020-03-12 08:13Bigodi Swamp5
2020-03-18 16:00Ruhondo wetland
2020-03-08 08:03Okavango Delta--Xaro Lodge2
2020-03-09 15:06Nyarutarama Lake and Golf Course2
2020-03-07 19:46Akagera NP--Pls if possible, use more specific locations.8
2020-03-07 13:27Akagera NP--Akagera Lodge20
2020-03-11 07:27Akagera NP (southern area)10
2020-03-07 09:39Mabira Forest--Local Community Reserve2
2020-03-08 09:30Sipi
2020-03-06 11:13Ruma NP (Fig Tree Campsite)4
2020-03-07 13:15Ruma River Lodge2
2020-03-31 07:16Angama Lodge (Ol Kurruk)2
2020-03-23 06:22Maasai Mara NR--Mara Triangle1
2020-03-20 08:30Maasai Mara NR--Mara Serena Lodge4
2020-03-11 14:15Maasai Mara NR--Naibor Camp1
2020-03-07 07:00Maasai Mara NR (general please use more specific location if possible)2
2020-03-08 08:00Jemma River Overlook1
2020-03-07 10:12Mpala Research Centre--Hippo Pool5
2020-03-13 09:33Yabello Sanctuary2
2020-03-29 08:01Nairobi NP
2020-03-07 10:15Tarangire NP--Matete Picnic Site10
2020-03-06 16:22Tarangire NP--Tarangire Sopa Lodge5
2020-03-06 08:45Tarangire NP--Silale Swamp10
2020-03-31 12:15Magongo Hills11
2020-03-11 06:45Negele area east1
2020-03-07 16:00Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge2
2020-03-20 06:00Nyumba ya Mungu Reservoir8
2020-03-14 06:00Welgevonden Game Reserve
2020-03-21 10:43Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve1
2020-03-19 11:29Kgomo-Kgomo to Moretele1
2020-03-19 10:54Kgomo-Kgomo1
2020-03-12 07:11Zaagkuildrift Rd (Please be more specific)1
2020-03-25 17:23Eagle Canyon Golf Estate1
2020-03-11 15:30Rust de Winter NR2
2020-03-31 05:30Buffelsdrift Conservancy
2020-03-15 06:00Rust de Winter Roadside Routes2
2020-03-14 06:53Delta Park2
2020-03-07 13:11University of Pretoria--Experimental Farm2
2020-03-08 08:36Pretoria National Botanical Garden4
2020-03-19 05:50Rietvlei Nature Reserve3
2020-03-13 14:04Mamabolo Plains3
2020-03-14 07:39Woodbush Forest1
2020-03-14 09:01Mabusa Nature Reserve4
2020-03-22 06:33Temple Point & Mida Creek Mouth, Watamu
2020-03-20 06:27Mwamba Field Study Centre
2020-03-14 17:08Dullstroom1
2020-03-17 11:22Umbabat NR--Ingwelala4
2020-03-07Kruger NP--Satara-N'wanetsi Rd/H66
2020-03-09 16:30Kruger NP--Skukuza Day Visitor Picnic Area1
2020-03-10 05:40Kruger NP--Tshokwane Road3
2020-03-11 09:59Kruger NP--Skukuza-Nkuhlu Road/H4-12
2020-03-19 06:45Sani Road -- Pholela River5
2020-03-18 06:04Hilton Bush Lodge7
2020-03-15 10:51Macaneta--Tidal wetland, dune forests and coast
2020-03-22 06:21Entumeni NR15
2020-03-17 15:20Mkhuze GR - kwaMalibala Hide4
2020-03-14 12:55Mkhuze GR - Nsumo Pan1
2020-03-20 12:41Hluhluwe-Imfolozi GR - Memorial Gate
2020-03-06 14:28Amatikulu NR4
2020-03-16 14:20Bonamanzi GR2
2020-03-06 06:15Umlalazi NR6
2020-03-21 06:02iSimangaliso WP - Western Shores15
2020-03-16 09:00St Lucia - bridge (Siyabonga Jetty)4